FDA, CDC: Throw out your pig ear treats right now

August 7, 2019

Tracking 127 human cases of salmonellosis with ties to pig ear dog treats, two government agencies warn pet owners and retailers to discard the product.

Everyone needs to stop feeding and selling pig ear treats at this time, according to the latest update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new consumer advisory came from the two agencies July 31 as they work with state agencies to investigate 127 human cases of salmonellosis with a suspected link to pig ear pet treats.

Illnesses from 2015 to the present have been reported from 33 states, and 26 people have been hospitalized.

The new alert also comes after pig-ear product recalls this month from two companies, Pet Supplies Plus and Lennox Intl Inc., according to Steven Solomon, DVM, MPH, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

“Multiple products have tested positive for numerous types of Salmonella resulting in the recalls,” says Dr. Solomon in a release. “Given this and the links to human illness, we believe the most effective way to protect public health at this time is to warn consumers to avoid purchasing or feeding their pets all pig ear treats and for retailers not to sell these products. The FDA will provide additional updates as our investigation further progresses.”

Pet owners are advised to throw away pig ear treats in containers that wildlife can't get into, wash hands thoroughly after handling the treats and disinfect surfaces that have come into contact with potentially contaminated products. Here is the FDA's ongoing advice for pet owners when offering pig ear treats to pets:

  • Monitor pets while chewing the treats

  • Pick up the treats when pets are finished with them

  • Keep treats away from small children

  • Routinely clean the areas the treat contacted

  • Wash hands

  • Don't allow pets to lick people or surfaces in your home.